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  1. Ah sorry, I've just realised I didn't specify that these recipes are in the same book. So in one book they'll have De Farine T45, De Farine T55 and just De Farine and i was wondering what the De Farine on it's own is?
  2. Thanks for your thoughts. I'm based in the UK, so sourcing the right type of flour wouldn't be a huge hassle. It's pretty rare in English recipes where they just list flour in a recipe without telling you what type, but i've been looking at French recipes online as well and this seems to be a thing. The reason I asked was that i noticed some recipes state to use T45 and some T55 and others just flour (farine) so I thought there must be some convention in France that if you just state "flour" then it is a specific type, but perhaps not. And yeah, because we all have different types of wheat and grinds and classifications etc, translating baking recipes can be a tricky task. So when a recipe states just flour in France it's usually for T45 or are you thinking that because it's in a patisserie book? For most recipes you can take a pretty good guess at the type of flour but in this case i'm actually researching into choux pastry recipes and i've noticed different chefs using all kinds of different flours. I thought it must be some sort of convention or something but perhaps not. Thanks
  3. Hi Guys, I ordered a couple of French patisserie books (In French!) and I can't speak French. I've noticed that in some recipes rather than specifying a type of flour (T45/55 etc) they only list flour (de farine). Does anyone know what type of flour they mean when they just say flour? I assume this must be a standard thing in French recipe books. Thanks, Dom
  4. Thanks for doing this. I've ordered one of them from alibaba so with your and @Rajala's results it seems they're up to the job! Good stuff
  5. Interesting. What do you think could replace E171 as a backing colour?
  6. Thanks. I saw that rice starch seems to be used as a white colouring agent for some applications, but i imagine it might make the cocoa butter too thick. I might give it a little try to see what it turns out like.
  7. I wondered if anyone had come across an e number free/natural/TO2 free (whatever the term is for it) white food colouring available to buy? As discussed previously, many countries have banned or are in the process of banning TO2, but I can't seem to find a white alternative yet? Has anyone saw anything and what do those who are going for clean labels use to replace white cocoa butter? Thanks
  8. Yeah, that chart clearly shows the massive difference temperature has on shelf life. It would have been nice if they Included fridge temperature in their experiment but I guess that wasn't their focus at the time. I think the guidelines @Kerry Beal devised for shelf life estimates for different confections are really useful. I was wondering where you guys would put a pate de fruit in there? My conclusion to all this, for what it's worth, is that for the more shelf stable products like caramels, giandujas etc, basing shelf life estimates on AW is fine, but when it comes to ganache with cream and fruit etc you really have to do a full shelf life test and just test them yourself (at similar storage conditions to your customers) every week or so until the shelf life period you're looking for is over. For yourself and the more experienced chocolatiers, who have fairly stable recipes for the different type of ganaches and products etc, I think you'll be able to come up with fairly accurate shelf life estimates for new products based on what you've made before. For those of us like myself who are still fairly new to it all, we'll just have to do full shelf life tests for the higher AW items on our menus, until we have that bank of recipes and experience. At the moment I'm being very cautious and claiming 2 weeks at 21 degrees and under as that's all I've tested for.
  9. Yeah, I'm working on some marketing materials for wholesale customers and was initially hoping I could base shelf life on water activity alone. There's such a huge variation in what different AW's correspond to in terms of shelf life though, that basing your shelf life solely on AW, especially if you're looking at longer shelf lives for wholesale customers seems potentially problematic. For an AW of .80 say, Confectionary & Chocolate Engineering has it at 27 days, Pro-Choc says 124-137 days, Melissa Coppel says 35-42 and J.P. Wybauw reckons up to 91 days between 0.70 - 0.85, which is pretty hard to decipher. From Confectionary & Chocolate Engineering: "Enzymatic activity starts at about aw =0.3, mould growth starts at about aw =0.75, yeast growth starts at aw =0.8 and bacterial growth starts at aw =0.9 – all these four types are stimulated by an increase in aw." I've saw different ranges for these categories in different books as well! 0.75 seems to be a good AW to aim for and then maybe have a more limited menu that changes more slowly, that you can be sure of for wholesale customers. I'd be interested to know what AW's people are aiming for and what they market the shelf life as? Thanks
  10. I was wondering what process you guys follow for assessing shelf life? Do you just base it on the water activity or do you do full shelf life tests as well? Or perhaps another process?
  11. Yeah, i think the US version has corn syrup whereas the UK/EU version uses sucrose i think, so that would explain the lower rating i guess.
  12. Thanks for the quick reply. I think the Aqualab PawKit model claims the same 0.02+/- accuracy but in the UK it's 10 times the price of the Chinese ones and unfortunately I can't afford that, let alone any of the more accurate models. For me, it's a choice between a Chinese meter or a pro-choc subscription and pro-choc's AW estimates don't seem that great. Waiting an hour for a reading, while annoying, isn't a deal breaker for me. Thanks for your help.
  13. This is very cool. Thanks to everyone taking part in this experiment! @Rajala I was wondering if you've done any experiments yourself comparing your 2 meters as I was looking to get one of those cheaper Chinese ones but wasn't sure how accurate they were? They say +/-0.02 AW accuracy on the description but, i've no idea how true that is. @Kerry BealWhat do you think of those Pro-Choc estimates? They seem pretty off at first glance. Thanks
  14. Thanks for doing this. Very interesting! From what I can gather, lowering the pH does not have a significant effect on water activity. Could be the solids then? The shelf lives are interesting for the basic ganache. I haven't been making chocolates for very long, so it would be interesting to see what yours and others experience and gut feeling is for all these different shelf lives? 6 days for a 1:1 ganache seems very high to me, but I don't know? Is this at room temperature?
  15. Sounds like an interesting experiment. I know that if the pH is low then you can have a higher AW without it affecting the shelf life as much but i'm not exactly sure what the ranges for these things are. I came across a paper that estimates the AW by using a formula using brix and pH measurements. I imagine pro-choc probably uses something like that. I'm going to buy one of those cheapo water activity meters so it would be great to see how they compare to the pAwkit ones. They still work out cheaper than a pro-choc subscription, so worth a try i guess. I live in the UK though, so not sure if there would be some weird Tax rules/rates if I send it Canada and then you send it to me?
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